Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/09/caudwell_phones4u/

Caudwell to flog entire phone business

Phones4U? or U? Or U...?

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Financial News, 9th November 2005 15:25 GMT

Billionaire John Caudwell is bailing out of the phone business after announcing today that he intends to flog his whole empire.

In September, Caudwell confirmed that he was looking to sell his fixed line telecoms business after receiving "a number of approaches from third parties interested in acquiring Caudwell Communications".

Now, though, he's decided he doesn't want to break up the empire after all and instead wants to flog the lot - which includes mobile phone retailer Phones4U, mobile handset and accessories distributors 20:20 and Dextra, and repair outfit MPRC.

As a result the sale of telco Caudwell Communications is now on hold.

His decision to sell the whole kit and caboodle follows a strategic review of the business by Rothschild, which found that the Caudwell Group of businesses "is in a very strong financial position" and that the future outlook for the outfit was "extremely positive".

In fact, the outlook was so rosy potential purchasers have been lining up to buy the business. As a result, today it "decided to invite offers for 100 per cent of the share capital of Caudwell Holdings Limited," said the company in a statement.

Caudwell founded the business in 1987. Over that time it has grown steadily and now employs 8,500 people and generates a combined annual turnover of more than £2bn. ®